#45, Women & Their Reproductive Rights

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

About three weeks ago, I was quoted in an article by Christine Michel Carter (Forbes), The Unexpected Impact of Birth Control on Female Entrepreneurship https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecarter/2018/03/01/the-unexpected-impact-of-birth-control-on-female-entrepreneurship/#79fbc119707b, well, the conversation continues as I lend my voice again about women and birth control. In an article written by Jeffrey McKinney (Black Enterprise) Birth Control, Reproductive Rights Key to Black Women Entrepreneurs’ Success http://www.blackenterprise.com/survey-birth-control-black-women-entrepreneurs/, I had a lot to say about how #45 is causing women and their reproductive rights to become an option instead of a necessity.

In my continued effort to speak not only for small businesses but minority and women https://thejegroupzone.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/back-to-basics-for-business-growth/, I am standing in the forefront to help out voices to be heard. We must speak loudly and strategically above the white noise from writing to our elected officials to voting in those that have our best interests at heart. “In order to succeed, we must continue the journey as small business owners with the support from Congress, government and elected officials.”

What are your thoughts about #45, women and their reproductive rights?

Back to Basics For Business Growth

Photo Courtesy: Small Business Majority

Being a business owner is not for the weak at heart. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to juggle all of the balls and to keep them afloat in the air. Business owners have a lot of pressure on them because they are responsible for a lot of people from the community and their employees or subcontractors to their families.

Despite the fact that small businesses are the catalyst for job creation, economic growth and stimulating the community, accessing capital for their business is still a thorn in the side for many, primarily within the diverse communities. The Access to Capital: The Key to Small Business Growth and Economic Development panelist was candid about the culture of the financial institution practices on lending. With their gut-wrenching advice they were able to provide us the tools and resources that we would need to stay in the game.

As we all know the lending practices today has adversely affected millions of underrepresented and disadvantaged businesses for centuries from home to business ownership. When a small business owner, particularly from the diverse community, applies for a loan there are continual biases and prejudices that the system possess. You can provide every documentation required, have collateral and still can run up against a loan denial.

There is a great deal of discrimination in lending,” David Newvill, Director of Federal Policy, Prosperity Now. One of the business owners that attended the Small Business Policy Forum was transparent about his lending experience. Here is an overview of what he displayed to us:

He has been in business for over 10 years. He needed funding to help take his business to the next level. He provided all of the required documentation, however, he experienced a glitch. The glitch was that according to Sage Stream Reporting, which was used for credit reporting by the financial institution that he was working with, his profile came back not creditworthy. The irony was that he stated that Sage Stream Reporting had the wrong person and that their findings of his creditworthiness were incorrect. These errors that were reported by Sage Stream Reporting is what caused his application to be denied, despite the fact that he tried everything to correct the mistakes that Sage Stream Reporting had made.

As you can see outside of the three big credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax or Experian there are other companies coming online that is tremendously affecting business lending. Everyone in attendance including the panel of experts wanted to know exactly who is Sage Stream Reporting. The irony is that no one knew or had ever hear of this company, including the panelist. Isn’t that interesting?!

Do you know who your lenders use to access information about you? “Only 53% of those that apply for loans actually receive the requested amount,” Joyce Klein, Director of Microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning, and Dissemination (FIELD), Aspen Institute. As a small business owner, my question is why only 53%?

There is truly something wrong here. “Be aware of merchant cash advance services,” Joyce Klein. What is she talking about?

Just like Sage Stream Reporting has entered the marketplace so has unregulated sharks pertaining to lending. These sharks are ready to offer you an unsecured loan but at a higher Annual Percentage Rate (APR).  In order to obtain access to capital to help grow your business, these lenders require access to your checking account.

The purpose for this access is so that they can debit your account for daily payments and if you decide to pay off the loan early, there is an early prepayment penalty attached. Don’t wait until you need the money for your business growth locate a lender now and get your ducks in a row. If you feel pushed up against a wall you are more than likely to get a loan at any costs.

For the larger institutes that are regulated like your major bank, these financial institutions do not see the value in lending to you. As they see it, the costs to underwrite a loan is the same, whether the dollar amount requested is $2,500, 25,000, $250,000 or $2.5 million dollars. The bottom line is their bottom line!

Manny Hidalgo, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Capital Access indicated that SBA has been fully aware of the biases that minorities are receiving within the banking community so they are creating more programs that are designed to help offset some of the costs and risks that big banks may face in lending to diverse communities. “SBA lenders look at other things outside of your FICO Score. We also have a Lending Match Program that is designed to match lenders with business owners,’ says Manny.

In today’s marketplace business owners should be aware of the Small Business Borrower’s Bill of Rights,” Jessica Milano, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy, U.S. Department of Treasury, which is designed to operate using better lending practices. There are six key initiatives that these Rights operate under:

  • The Right to Transparent Pricing and Terms
  • The Right to Non-Abusive Products
  • The Right to Responsible Underwriting
  • The Right to Fair Treatment from Brokers
  • The Right to Inclusive Credit Access
  • The Right to Fair Credit Practices

I have a suggestion, let’s go back to basics. How does that look? How would it work?

Going back to basics is looking at lending institutions with a vested interest in your business success. Take your money out of the major banks and begin looking at partnering with your local, community bank. Another back to basic move would be to look into crowdfunding programs like KIVA. Or borrow from family and friends and if they need an incentive consider revenue sharing or providing them a share in the business.

Lauren Stebbins, Vice President of Small Business Initiatives, Opportunity Finance Network provided several other back to basic resources that can be beneficial to business owners that are seeking the necessary technical assistance and programs to help finance their needs:

Remember, as a small business owner you must continue to make your voice heard and to stay up to date on small business issues by reaching out to these organizations and your Senators now:

Once again I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and for your support.  If you have a concern or issue that you would like for me to talk about on your behalf within the near future please feel free to contact me.

“Don’t just stand by, be a part of the conversation.” Vernita Naylor

Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner, Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)
Small Business Ambassador Since 2001
services@jabezenterprisegroup.com
www.jabezenterprisegroup.com

 

IS IT A TAX REFORM OR TAX CUT?

20171017_062222

In today’s climate, it is so difficult to understand what to do and who to trust. The Republicans say this and the Democrats want that but what does it all mean to us as small business owners? I will roll out some of the conversations that are circulating around not only during the discussions with the industry experts that I encountered during my Washington, D.C. trip but what others are saying including the media.

With the information that you will receive from this article, you will be able to make an educated decision as a business owner. To start off the conversation let’s consider what Donald Marron, Economic Policy Initiatives Institute Fellow & Director, Urban Institute stated during the Ensuring Tax Reform Promotes Small Business Success panel discussion, “Is It Spinach or Ice Cream? Ice Cream is the soft sale in what we are hearing and seeing but in actuality, we are receiving and eating spinach. For most of us, spinach represents a food that we dislike, in this case, spinach displays what is truly going on.

So here we go pertaining to the proposed tax policy. The panel that Marron was a part of were full of financial, policy and tax industry experts, that provided us with a wealth of information. So the question really is, is it a tax reform or tax cut? The answers depend upon who you are asking.

Let’s look at a few tax issues that are being proposed and circulating:

  • Doubling the standard deductions
  • Tax credits for child dependent families, as well as, nondependent
  • Reduction of corporate taxes
  • New tax rate for pass-through taxes for small businesses

Here is how it rolls out according to the panelists:

The purpose of taxes is to provide the economic support that the Country needs to fund itself primarily for the well-being of the various social programs that our Country and its people need from transportation, Social Security and health care to education. Mark Mazur, Robert C. Pozen Director,  Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, indicates that while the tax system worked in the 50s and 60s, in its current state it isn’t. Due to the economic shift that we are and have been experiencing for decades, our system needs some massaging.

The last tax reform was allegedly in 1986. According to @RepTomEmmer “Last time we had major tax reform, I was rocking the flannel look most days. Safe to say we need tax reform now: GOP Tax Reform https://fairandsimple.gop/.”

As a part of the changes, the state and local tax deductions will be eliminated but the standard deductions will be doubled. While this may be great for some states the states that will be hardest hit will be California and New York. One of the panelists, CPA Anne Zimmerman, Zimmerman & Co CPAs, Inc. ran one of President Trump’s prior year taxes and indicated that according to the new proposed tax laws if passed, he and the upper echelon will subsequently be paying nothing in taxes and instead will be gaining by a windfall.

While Trump initially thought that he would be able to immediately get his proposed tax bill passed, he is now weighing his options and hopefully, he will begin to see the error of his ways. Any tax bill being proposed should be for the people especially for those that voted for him based upon his promise to Make America Great Again. Is this new tax proposal Spinach or the Ice Cream?

Research, read and digest all of the information that you can to find and determine for yourself if this proposed tax bill will either Make America Great Again or will instead cripple us and take us back to the Stone Ages. Here are some suggestions to consider including those of the panelists:

  • Wage credit – Ryan Abraham, Business & International Senior Tax Counsel, U.S. Senate Finance Committee
  • Lower loopholes for corporations
  • Offer a proposal of solutions
  • Talk about the specific issues while focusing on what is not working and massage what is working
  • Remove our vs their conversations because taxes will affect us all either directly or indirectly when it comes to purchasing power. If people are being taxed too much they will not have the economic capital for purchases. This is what causes a recession/depression to occur.

As a small business owner you must continue to make your voice heard and to stay up to date on small business issues reach out to these organizations and your Senators now:

So is this a tax reform or tax cut? It all depends on who you ask. What are your thoughts?

I thank you and appreciate the opportunity that you have afforded me to represent you once again. I will continue the fight to assure that the voices, needs, and concerns for the small businesses are being heard. If you have a concern or issue that you would like for me to talk about on your behalf within the near future please feel free to contact me.

“Diversity and inclusion are not only for employees, it’s for business owners also.  Become a part of the conversation.” Vernita Naylor

Blessings and keep on dreaming…..

Vernita Naylor
Founder/Owner, Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup)
Small Business Ambassador Since 2001
services@jabezenterprisegroup.com
https://jabezenterprisegroup.com/

 

Vernita Talk Policy in D.C. (GoFundMe)


Vernita Naylor (JEGroup) has been selected along with 49 other prominent business owners nationwide to speak in Washington, D.C. on policy issues pertaining to business owners. In today’s climate, it is important that business owners have a voice and that those voices are being heard. We have been invited to attend a Small Business Policy Forum where we will be sitting down with subject matter policy experts and legislative staff to engage in a conversation on policies surrounding tax reforms, Affordable Health Care (ACA), access to capital, hiring and other small business pain points. We need your financial support within the next two weeks to assure that our expenses for the Forum are met. Please visit our GoFundMe campaign and provide your support today.


As a Small Business Ambassador we have been contacted to speak on behalf of and have advocated for business owners on several occasions. Please join us for the continual fight to improve the conditions for small business owners throughout our Country.  For an example of our work pertaining to small business efforts, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB2QXbmW6G8&index=4&list=WL (14:32/21:51)


If you are a business owner and you have a specific pain point pertaining to policy matters, please email us- Subject: Business Pain Point with a brief description of your concerns along with your name, company’s name, and the city and State that you are representing. We will make every effort to post the response to your question in our November blog, https://thejegroupzone.wordpress.com/about/.


We truly appreciate your financial support to help keep our economy thriving and the ability to implement policies that will continue to help small businesses with the ability to operate and serve you. Once again, on behalf of myself and the small business owners throughout the Country, we thank you in advance and appreciate your support. We couldn’t have done this type of work without you.

Please share.

Small businesses benefits the National Monuments

FB_IMG_1460079240711

Did you know that small businesses are a benefit to the National Monuments throughout the Country? Yes, because small businesses offer several goods and services to our public lands from water filtration, and land maintenance to park protection.  Through the efforts of the small business community, there is job creation, the economy is stimulated and an atmosphere is being created for tourists to enjoy.

I had the pleasure of being called back to Washington, D.C. where last year I was Chosen Top 100 Small Business Nationwide and now chosen again to become a part of a historical event pertaining to the National Monuments.  I along with two other business owners spoke at the National Monuments Press Conference in Washington, D.C.   The conference was held in participation with Senator Harry Reid (U.S. Senate Democratic Leader), and Senator Martin Heinrich (New Mexico) along with business owners, Rose Lanegensiepen, and Renee Frank, we talked about the important of the our public lands in partnership with the small business community.

Enjoy Senators Reid and Heinrich along with
myself, Rose and Renee talk about the benefits of the National Monuments
.

20160406_083341

We were Nominated!

9th Annual Oakland Indie Awards Nomination

Come out and celebrate with Vernita Naylor and the Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) on our nomination at the Oakland Indie Awards on May 29.

ABOUT JEGroup

Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) is an Integrated Business Resource (IBR) Company that provides business development and government contracting education and training services to corporate (B2B) and government (B2G) entities.  We provide these services through various means from written articles, training, panels and consulting to motivational speaking.  In servicing our clients their stakeholders have been able to obtain the training necessary to build capacity, increase their business revenue, become empowered through education and make improvement in their business infrastructure.  We are always looking to partner with government or corporate entities with an interest in providing education and training services for their stakeholders.

We are also advocates for underrepresented and disadvantaged (small, woman, Veteran and minority-owned) businesses where recently we were chosen as one of the top 100 pioneering small businesses nationwide and received a special invitation to the White House.  Vernita Naylor will be taking the concerns of these businesses to the White House and give them a voice there.  We also help buyers meet their diversity and inclusion goals by connecting them with qualified suppliers.  Our services are ideal for growing businesses.

For more information about us or our services visit www.jabezenterprisegroup. com or 1-800-865-0701.

To join us at the Oakland Indie Awards on May 29 and purchase your tickets go to www.oaklandindieawards.com.